Book Review: Time After Time



Time After Time

Do you ever sit around and wonder, “what if?”  Whether it be about a move somewhere, a job, or an ex?  I would think that at some point, everyone has stopped to question a decision and wondered how things would be different if they had chosen differently. Today I read, Time After Time: A Heart-Warming Novel About Love, Loss, and Second Chances, by Hannah McKinnon, a story about wondering “what if” and getting to see how things would’ve been if done differently. This is a fantastic first novel of McKinnon’s touching on romance, as well as, fantasy.

Hayley is grumpy and in a life rut.  She has never-ending work hours as a solicitor at a law firm, feels that she is on the verge of losing her job, her father has had a stroke, she never sees her family, and fights with her husband about everything. After a particularly bad argument with her husband, Rick, Hayley takes off to her best friend Ellen’s house.  After too much wine, Hayley sits with her friend wondering, “what if?”  She recalls previous boyfriends prior to marrying Rick and wonders to herself if life would have been better if she would have married one of them. The following morning, Hayley awakens to find herself in a different life, in a “what if” life.  From here, McKinnon takes the reader on a journey between past, present, reality, and what could have been.  Hayley is able to re-visit and live as a wife of Chris, Ian, Matthew, and Sean, to catch a glimpse of what her life would have been like if she had married each of them. As the story unfolds, it flip-flops between past (providing details of how they met and their relationship), and make-believe present (where Hayley sees how things would have turned out if she had married/stayed with them). As Hayley moves through each of her “what if” lives, the reader wonders if she will see a better life, or a better choice that she could have made, or if marrying Rick was her destiny.

So, first of all, this is not a new concept in writing or films.  Think Groundhog Day or The Family Man, and honestly when I first realized the premise of this novel, I sort of grumbled to myself about this story being told before.  However, I really enjoyed this novel. I sat down, started reading, and finished about three hours later. The cool thing about McKinnon’s novel, is that in each “what if” scenario, it wasn’t just Hayley’s life that was changed, but everyone’s lives were different.  Whether it pertained to her Dad and having a stroke, or Ellen’s ongoing struggle to have a baby with her husband, each course Hayley caught a glimpse of held something different for her loved ones. I enjoyed McKinnon’s writing style which although a UK writer, I wasn’t struggling to understand little expressions or innuendos.  The main reason I loved this book was the theme.  We all make choices, both small and large, and its human nature to look back once in a while and wonder.  However, I am a believer that things happen for a reason and people don’t just fall into our lives. There is a reason we meet certain people, fall in love with certain people, or just don’t quite feel that certain people are right for us.  What’s important though, is that even when things get bumpy or rough, that we stop and remind ourselves that we are with that person for a reason, that we did fall in love with that person, and that life without them would be miserable. In the real world, we don’t have the luxury of time-travelling through our “what ifs,” so we need to respect, embrace, and be grateful for what our real life is.

I hope you will read and enjoy Time After Time: A Heart-Warming Novel About Love, Loss, and Second Chances as much s I did, and I can’t wait to read more from this up and coming author!

Want to learn more about the author?  Visit:

*Disclaimer:  I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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